Developer Partner Community

  • June 21, 2013

Not ‘how’ but ‘why’ should you upgrade to JDeveloper & ADF By Chris Muir

Juergen Kress
PaaS Partner Adoption

I recently received questions from Oracle ACE Director (ACED) Tim Hall on upgrading to JDeveloper, not necessarily asking about the 'how' but rather the 'why should we upgrade to the latest version beyond new features?' Oracle has a close relationship with its ACED members, and overall the questions that we receive from the ACE Directors are well thought out and indicative of what the wider customer base are interested in, so we’re more often than not willing to address their concerns.  As such Tim and I thought we’d collaborate to write and publish the questions and answers for everyone to benefit from.

Tim Q1) Assuming we don't need the extra functionality in ADF, what is the advantage of moving to it? Are the bug fixes and maybe browser compatibility changes enough to warrant the upgrade?

Chris A1) Of course Oracle would love you to look at the new features and we hope they are compelling enough reasons on their own to get you to upgrade.  Probably the most exciting parts are the 'eye candy'components (cough, DVT controls) such as the Sunburst, TreeMap, TimeLine and Code Editor.  However for programmers the PanelGrid, ListView and new (returned?) pagination support in Table’s will also make ADF UI development easier, and who doesn’t want an easier job?

Possibly a more compelling reason is the optimisations introduced under the covers which might not be overly obvious, but will make your users happy with the responsiveness of the app migrated to  In this release Oracle has introduced a new skin 'Skyros' which to some people will be 'just another skin'.  Yet this skin introduces CSS3 with its graphics rendering support to replace the 10s, if not 100s of images we used to include with each skin for the overall application chrome.  This means your user’s browsers now download far less bytes, the browser and CSS3 can use the graphics processes of the users’ PCs for faster interactions, the end outcome, faster apps, happier users.

Not enough on the optimization front?  To prove my point about optimizations under the covers, check out the bug fix list and note the DOM optimizations (e.g. bug 14015969) to make components more 'HTML-light-weight'.  The ADF programmer won’t see this in their day to day coding, but it will make a performance difference to the applications as the browser has less HTML to review and DOM to process.

Yet I agree, this and the other new features might not be enough.  So let’s address your other points.

Between releases Oracle does put it in significant effort addressing JDeveloper and ADF bugs, as well as behind the scenes optimizations that you get for free and we don’t necessarily publicize. Admittedly we also introduce in a few new bugs, but lets be realistic, that’s the nature of modern complex software, there’s always going to be bugs.  The goal is of course to reduce the amount and this is something Oracle pursues at length. Since starting at Oracle 1 year ago I’ve lodged just over 100 bugs and ERs, and have worked at length with our developers who are committed to addressing these issues, something all our team members do daily.  With all this in mind, from experience in having talked to external development teams who have upgraded in the past, generally speaking when quizzed about the quality of the IDE and ADF, I’ve not yet heard a customer say they wanted to go back versions.  So overall my opinion, is yes, you should diligently plan to upgrade when new releases come out. Read the full article here.

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